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Review of the 2nd Album of the Death Metal Band Cannibal Corpse Called "Butchered at Birth"

Updated on February 9, 2021
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Cannibal Corpse has turned out to be one of the best US extreme metal bands since its inception and I figured I might as well review another album in which Chris Barnes is the vocalist. That album is called Butchered at Birth and it was released in 1991. At this time though, these guys were just developing as a band having started in 1988 so they would improve their guitar play and technique in time for their very good 4th studio album.

Note: this music is only suitable for adults and the music of Cannibal Corpse is for people with a strong character that can handle the musical brutality because of the riffing and style. Speaking of which, early on in this album, there is the influence of early Morbid Angel as well as early death metal made in Florida.

How Does the Album Begin?

The album starts with a sort of growling noise among the messy guitar and it sounds like there is a beast in the background. The music for this band may give some of you the chills because it is just so extreme so for those of you that can’t handle the music of this band then stay away. The first song in which there is this beast kind of sound is the one called "Meat Hook Sodomy" and then the guitar riff continues and becomes kind of stagnant until finally the drumming that we have been hearing from this band finally starts.

Butchered at Birth Album Review and Analysis

The double bass drum that has made this band notable is still present along with the usual rough, hoarse growls of Chris Barnes. This album came out following the close of a very successful decade for American metal bands.

One thing that has not changed for Cannibal Corpse is the extremely gross song titles and I might have mentioned before that this is extreme metal so you are going to see these kinds of titles in the songs. One thing that can also be said is that for those of you that have listened to Cannibal Corpse long enough is that you may like them more as a band compared to Obituary (at least I have).

Some of you may wonder if this album is better than their 1994 studio album The Bleeding. Early on, this does not seem to be the case although the same fast drums with the brutal vocals are present.

One thing is though that in this album none of the songs begin with a profane word which for some of you may be a relief. And for some of you this may just be a minor detail but some people don’t like the idea of bands using profane words for song titles. The vocal growls in this album drag on for a few seconds longer than usual. The case can certainly be made that Cannibal Corpse opened the door for other extreme metal bands to be created such as Madrid Spain’s Avulsed. If you have even made it halfway through this album given the extreme nature of the guitars and music then you can be proud of yourself. The title track might as well be a parody of what happens during birth.

Although the songwriting on the album Butchered at Birth is decent, it still is not as good as 1994’s The Bleeding. There is a guest vocal appearance from Glen Benton of the band Deicide in the song called Vomit the Soul.

"Covered With Sores"

"Innards Decay" which is the last song of this album and the style of the riffing is similar to what we would hear in the 1991 album called Human. Once again, when the growling vocals subside for a brief moment, the Slayer style solos are introduced to us.

The Significance of the 2nd Studio Album of Cannibal Corpse

All in all this is a pretty darn good death metal release even for the time in which it was released. Bands such as Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse defined the extreme metal scene down in Florida in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. There are many who say that for Cannibal Corpse, this second album of theirs is the one that established their trademark, death metal sound. The album has a very ominous beginning to it with Chris Barnes sounding like some beast that snarls as the first song called Meat Hook Sodomy shifts to the Cannibal Corpse style that most of us are familiar with. But as we know, the old phrase that one song does not make an album is very true here. The first song in this album can be considered one of the best in the career of Cannibal Corpse because of the way that it starts and then repeats one of the riffs in the mid-section of the song.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


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